As I mentioned before (here), I’ve only recently become interested in the world of zines. Not only do zines appear to be an incredibly flexible channel for creativity, but I think that this medium would be a great compliment to my graphic novels and children’s books. I like the idea of the zine being very hands on — a real artist book, the artist not only illustrating, but also cutting and pasting the finished pamphlet together. This process reminds me greatly of Andy Warhol, his factory, and 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy.
Before I begin any zines of my own, I’ve been trying to get a better sense of their mercurial world. At APE (Alternative Press Expo) 2012, I talked with Tugboat Press, who produce annual free comics and an anthology called Papercutter. Tugboat led me to Parcell Press, who seems to carry a vast array of zines, comics, etc. I also found “How to Make a Zine” on Rookie. I guess the one true rule of creating zines is that there are no rules!
As I ponder the pre-existing zine world, my own ideas for zines just keep pouring out of me. I scribble these ideas down furiously in a Gallatin notebook I received upon graduation and was saving for something important (who knew that important something was zines). Endless ideas — everything from opera parodies to The Death of Chatterton. I’m not sure when I’ll actually have time to realize these zines since I’m already working on so many projects that need to get done (The Poet and the Flea, The First Reich, etcetera, etcetera). I’m hoping to take a stab early next year, June at the latest. We’ll see how that works out…
Some useful zine-related websites I’ve discovered:
- Zines 101 has some basic but good advice. They suggest submitting zines to sites that review them (Broken Pencil, Xerography Debt, Zine World, etc.) as well as posting on online zine communities (We Make Zines, etc.) to get larger exposure.
- Zinebook.com has an extensive list of zine distributors and reviewers as well.
- ZineWiki: The Independent Media Wikipedia encourages zine creators to add new articles about their zines.
- Etsy, Storenvy, and Big Cartel seem to be used by a huge number of zine creators. There are definite pros and cons to all of them, but I think I’m leaning more towards Storenvy at the moment. (I’m also thinking of selling other products [T-shirts, tote bags, greeting cards, etc.] with images from The Poet and the Flea as well as my zines.)
- In San Francisco, Dog Eared Books, Needles & Pens, and other local bookstores seem interested in carrying zines. Not to mention there’s the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest (Berkeley) and the San Francisco Zine Fest.
- I’m also considering self-printing versus printing with a printer. Most sites seem to recommend working with a local printer. In San Francisco — H&H Imaging, Your Printer, Autumn Press, etc.
- Update Nov. 6: Discovered issuu.com — seems like many zines publish online using this site. Pretty neat!!
Plus, I figure if I make enough zines, then eventually I can release them all in one book.
Any comments, suggestions, or thoughts would be truly appreciated!
Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas